EDGEFIELD, S.C. --- Denise Holcomb, founder of All God's Creatures in Edgefield County, flips through a small photo album of animals showing them before and after they were rescued.
"She was thrown from a car and landed on her face," she said, displaying a picture of a tiny blond kitten with scabs covering its face.
Ms. Holcomb showed another picture of a pit bull with an open wound on its neck where a chain had been embedded in the dog's neck and had to be cut out. The dog had recently given birth, but the puppies were nowhere to be found.
"Obviously, people are throwing animals out," she said.
Since All God's Creatures incorporated six years ago, 600 rescued animals have been adopted. Ms. Holcomb cares for the animals at her home near Johnston, but the nonprofit organization is hoping to raise enough money to build Edgefield County's first animal shelter.
"We have an animal control officer, but we don't have a shelter," board member Betsy Martin said. "Therefore, all of our animals who are picked up here are taken to Aiken County, and within five days, they're euthanized."
The organization is on its way to seeing its dream of a shelter realized with the donation of two acres of land and blueprint renderings.
"We have loyal donors that have really kept us going up to this point," Ms. Martin said. "I just feel like the time is right to raise more money."
When an animal is brought to All God's Creatures, it receives veterinary care, including shots and a microchip, and is spayed or neutered. Once the animal recovers from its wounds, Ms. Holcomb and the volunteers work on the animal's social skills.
"We keep them with us for a few weeks to get to know their personality and see if there are any quirks," Ms. Holcomb said. "Then, we put them on the Web site and hopefully place them quick."
The organization has room for only a limited number of animals, causing it to sometimes turn animals away.
Officials with All God's Creatures say they've been sitting on the corner at the fair and outside some veterinarians' offices trying to adopt animals.
"We desperately need a place," Ms. Holcomb said.
All God's Creatures can be reached at (803) 275-1735.
Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO HELP
Visit All God's Creatures' Web site at www.agcpetrescue.org to see animals available for adoption or to download a donation form. The form along with a donation can be mailed to:
All God's Creatures
P.O. Box 23
Johnston, SC 29832